Let's say I want to say that I want to make something move - would it be: "Ich will es bewegen lassen"? I'm having doubts because the verb "bewegen" by itself means 'to make something move', whereas "sich bewegen" means the move in the object itself. So would it be "bewegen lassen", or "sich bewegen lassen" or what really?

2 Answers 2


You're getting confused between three different expressions

  • sich bewegen is a reflexive verb and means "to move (oneself)"
  • etwas bewegen is a normal transitive verb and means "to move something"
  • etwas bewegen lassen mean "to have something moved (by something or someone)".

So your original sentence is best translated as "Ich will es bewegen".

Update: The construction "sich bewegen lassen" is also possible, although the meaning is different

Das Objekt lässt sich bewegen - the object can be moved.

  • So the third expression: "etwas bewegen lassen" could also work here, can't it? And well, I see a difference between "i want to make it move" and "I want to move it". So "Ich will es bewegen" is not really what I'm aiming for. Consider still water that you think about causing it to make bubbles or waves or something. You don't move the water, you cause it to move to a certain (small) degree..
    – user30446
    May 23, 2019 at 12:47
  • If you're thinking about something like water, then the third expression will cover that. Note, I edited my answer: "someone else" was unnecessary
    – PiedPiper
    May 23, 2019 at 12:54

The most usual German expression would be

Ich will, dass es sich bewegt.
Ich will, dass es bewegt wird.

If the important point is that the current location of the object is disturbing you and you want to have it moved away, you could also say

Ich will es hier weg haben.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.